Photographer: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

Snap Partners With Malone's Formula One to Host Fans' Race Clips

  • Snapchat users at races can share images, stories worldwide
  • Racing circuit gets access to social network’s young audience

Snap Inc., creator of the popular Snapchat social-media network, is partnering with billionaire John Malone’s Formula One to let auto-racing fans use the service to post clips and photos during this weekend’s British Grand Prix and future F1 contests.

The deal is Formula One’s first with a major digital platform, according to a statement Thursday. Ben Schwerin, Snap’s vice president of partnerships, said the companies will split the ad revenue, without providing additional financial terms. Malone’s Liberty Media Corp., based in Englewood, Colorado, acquired Formula One in January for $4.7 billion.

The yearlong accord adds to sports deals Los Angeles-based Snap has struck with the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, Nascar and others. It coincides with efforts at Formula One to revive global interest in the racing circuit by building its online presence and attracting younger fans. Snap had 166 million active daily users at the end of the first quarter.

Snap users at Formula One races will be able to send pictures and videos to Our Story, a part of the social-media service that’s curated and packaged for viewers around the world, including those watching at home or on the go. The content will be available for one to two days. An Our Story for the 2017 NBA Draft had more than 4 million unique viewers in the U.S., according to Snap.

“This is the first step towards expanding our social media strategy,” Frank Arthofer, head of digital and new business at Formula One, said in the statement. “We need to continue to bring new fans to the sport -- by reaching out to them on social media platforms with behind the scenes, fun and engaging content.”

Snap rose as much as 4.8 percent to $15.97 in New York, the most in almost a month. The shares remain below their $17 offering price on March 1. Liberty Media’s Formula One was little changed at $33.18.

Debut Weekend

For this weekend’s British Grand Prix, only Snapchat users in the U.S. and U.K. will be able to view fans’ postings. Clips and videos from future races will be available to users worldwide, according to Snap.

In a conference call last year, Liberty Media Chief Executive Officer Greg Maffei called Formula One’s digital operation “underdeveloped” and suggested using technology like virtual reality and video games to attract fans. Schwerin said Snapchat can help increase Formula One’s popularity in the U.S.

“This is an amazing way to develop the next generation of Formula One fans,” Schwerin said. “The experience of going to a Formula One race is very unique and compelling, and we think we’re going to be able to capture that with Our Stories.”

The average Snapchat user is 13 to 34 years old, and the app offers a potential new audience for Formula One sponsors, according to Schwerin.

“This is a great way to align with Formula One content on Snapchat and reach a young global audience,” he said.

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